Tesla To Choose Up To 3 Sites For Gigafactory, Ground Breaking For June On Schedule (Update)

JUN 3 2014 BY JAY COLE 24

Tesla Gigafactory Groundbreaking Put On Hold Until 2015

Tesla Gigafactory Final Decision Expected By End Of Year

It seems plans for the ground breaking of Tesla’s Gigafactory have changed quite a bit in the past week or two.

UPDATE: Or maybe not as the original Business Insider report has been modified at Tesla’s request for being inaccurate.

Could Delay Also Mean An open Door To Other Battery Suiters Besides Panasonic? (Panasonic booth from Tokyo Motor Show shown)

Could Delay Also Mean An open Door To Other Battery Suiters Besides Panasonic? (Panasonic booth from Tokyo Motor Show shown)

Late last month the company said that they were just a “few weeks away” from ground breaking, but a Business Insider report suggested otherwise, while adding that an additional 3rd site may be included in the search.

In reality plans specific to the ground breaking are unchanged as we have been in touch with Tesla directly on the issue.

However, Elon Musk did tell Bloomberg news (who seem to act as  the defacto ‘unofficial’ press release outfit for Tesla) that the company won’t select a final site this year.

“I would expect that we do a down-select for gigafactory 1 before the end of the year.”

This would seem to open the door for notoriously slow-moving California to also get in on the action (along with Nevada, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico), as the state was originally dismissed by Tesla because of how slow and difficult it can be to establish manufacturing there.

Last we reported that Sacramento’s Mather Business Park and airport had thrown their hat into the ring for the Gigafactory competition.

The Tesla CEO also added they were now considering more site options as well.

“It might actually be three states that we do it in.”

Earlier this month we saw that Panasonic was shying away from committing too large investment in Tesla’s battery facility, but that it still expected to be the sole battery maker involved in the project.

Update 2:  Tesla contacted us about the Business Insider’s original story noting that there had been no delays in Gigafactory plans, and passed along this quote from the CEO:

“We are probably going to do two or maybe three states all the way to creating a foundation and completing the plans and getting approvals and everything. “

A representative of the company also told us the following directly this evening:

“This does not signify a delay in our plans to break ground in June. Multiple sites will be developed in parallel to minimize delay and provide options.”

Business Insider

Categories: Tesla


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24 Comments on "Tesla To Choose Up To 3 Sites For Gigafactory, Ground Breaking For June On Schedule (Update)"

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“Could this delay also involve perhaps opening the door to other battery maker to get involved?”
Not really. From the same shareholder meeting, Elon said he is having daily meetings with Panasonic and have even gotten them to see the feasibility of reducing costs by 30% (or more), even though they were extremely skeptical of this claim before.

I do agree though that this “delay” is probably to accommodate CA. I never really believed that they would do groundbreaking in a few weeks in the first place (seems to be too rushed).

There is no delay, notice the original business insider article doesn’t exist anymore. They changed the headline.

The mistake was that Tesla said they would REVEAL first site in a few weeks and then 2nd site a month after that.

This is unrelated to groundbreaking but was confused to be one and the same.

Yes indeedie, the Business Insider got it mixed up/wrong.

We have been in touch with Tesla directly and they have confirmed that not only is the Gigafactory ground breaking for site 1 on schedule, but it will happen this month.

Tesla quotes added to story, plus obligatory update/title adjustment.

“I would expect that we do a down-select for gigafactory 1 before the end of the year.”

Perhaps I’m misreading but this seems like they will be announcing the winning site for the first Gigafactory site by year’s end, not they won’t select a final site this year as stated in the article. But announcement of the site is a much less significant piece of information than the implication made by “select for Gigafactory 1”. This implies more Gigafactories and that they may proceed with at least one of the other sights as well. Recent comments by JB Stroubel support the notion that Tesla now has plans to build more than Gigafactory in the near term. I expect their announcement later this year is that one site will be red lighted for construction so that production can commence with the intro of Gen III. At least one more sight (CA sight) will continue with development at a slower pace so that CapEx coincides with higher revenue of volume S and X production along with start of Gen III.

Dropping that 3 sites are now a probability will also give hope to other candidates who might wish to entertain Tesla’s designs in their states.

This is good.
Make ’em beg.
It’s a poker match.

I don’t believe Panasonic is the only bidder.

Here’s one possibility as to why Panasonic could be the only bidder: Tesla may have mostly figured out how to build similar Li-NiCoAlO2 cells.

If so, then the partnership is about mutual risk reduction as opposed to a winning bid between, say, Panasonic and Samsung. Panasonic would get a license fee per battery in exchange for IP and investment, protecting future battery revenue (which could otherwise be under attack by the gigafactory’s cells), while Tesla would mitigate risk in building the factory.

On a side note: A Robert K. Baird analyst dubs Tesla his top pick for the second half:

Never heard about this guy. His picks probably stink.

I’m sure he has never heard of you either.

Multi-gigafactories… *squee* !!! 🙂

Good one Anon.

Maybe Elon will get all the big wigs from Japan and make them get on their knees and

“Squeal like a pig”

It’s line out of “Deliverance”

Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead. Build that damn factory and change the world.

If they can reduce battery prices by 30%, that will truly be the most revolutionary thing Tesla has ever done. Do it.


Revolutionary changes to the car industry through just evolutionary changes in battery manufacturing. Gotta love it!

“Multiple sites will be developed in parallel to minimize delay and provide options.”

Translation: You gotta jump for it.. just a little higher.. Oh.. you almost had it. LOL

Next time he speaks, there will be 4 giga factories Then 5 G, then 6 giga! But not a single real giga made. Nissan already has few giga factories producing batteries.
And here, all we here is some nonsense from the CEO of a large auto company.

See Through,

1. At this point, he wants to build one, not 4,5 or 6 🙂

2. Nissan doesn’t not have any gigafactories, last time I checked batteries in Leafs haven’t doubled World’s battery production.

3. Nonsense from a CEO – seriously, I say what you hear is words from the most genius CEO of our times for whom sky, big oil, big autos etc is not the limit. So far he has delivered on all crazy things he came up with, perhaps a little later and at higher price. So all is according to plans, get out of shorting TSLA and invest instead, stay long and become a part of history, one day you’ll tell your grand kids about it…

Or maybe an electric bus will run over h……………

That you call Nissan’s plant a gigafactory shows how pathetic you are with numbers, and therefore how useless your opinion is when it comes to finance.

Tesla’s gigafactory plans on producing over 10x the cells that Tesla currently uses. Nissan’s battery production isn’t even enough to match the latter.

Now his name makes sense.

+1 eating pop corn keep going please

Elon Musk has and will continue to be the most entreprenerial and successful CEO of our time (and perhaps all time). You on the other hand will remain an inconsequential internet troll!

Yes, he See’s Through it all. The truth is revealed to him while the rest of us are mucking about veiled in confusion. Luckily we have someone like him to explain it all.

The Voices in His Head speak loud and clear. I think he’s got his lithiums confused.